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After fleeing to New Jersey two years ago, man sentenced on 13 drug offenses

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After fleeing to New Jersey two years ago, man sentenced on 13 drug offenses

Gerald Draughn locks eyes with the camera during his arraignment in February.

Gerald Draughn locks eyes with the camera during his arraignment in February.

Christine Holmes

Gerald Draughn locks eyes with the camera during his arraignment in February.

Christine Holmes

Christine Holmes

Gerald Draughn locks eyes with the camera during his arraignment in February.

By Christine Holmes, News Director

He fled the state while awaiting indictment in 2017. Two years later, Gerald Draughn is back in Ohio and won’t be running from the law anymore.

The 46 year-old was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday morning in the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas by Judge Mark Fleegle.

According to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Litle, Draughn had been the target of a long-running investigation involving controlled buys and the eventual execution of a search warrant at his home on Muskingum Avenue that led to his arrest — the first time.

“Mr. Draughn had been dealing drugs here for a long time,” said Litle at sentencing.

In August 2016, a confidential informant working with law enforcement purchased narcotics from Draughn on two occasions, one of which Draughn was recorded on video telling the CI from his trap house on Indiana Street to meet his girlfriend, Ashley Hargraves, at his home on Muskingum Avenue to make the transaction. 

A search warrant would later be executed at both the Indiana Street and Muskingum Avenue houses. Draughn and Hargraves were found hiding in the Muskingum Avenue residence.

Cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, prescription drugs, digital scales and cash were all seized as a result of the warrant.

Despite what Litle said about Draughn’s role as a drug dealer in Muskingum County, defense attorney Keith Edwards said there were no facts or previous convictions to support that statement.

While arguing sentencing on behalf of Draughn, Edwards said his client had lost the commonly referenced “game” of drug dealing when he lost both his legs in New Jersey.

Knowing he had an active arrest warrant, Draughn ran from police in New Jersey who were checking on him as he tried to get into a car.

At some point during the foot pursuit, Draughn legs were broken when they were crushed in the trash compactor where he was hiding.

Edwards explained that the rules of the game were harsh for Draughn, saying, in fact, it wasn’t a game at all.

“He has no taste for the criminal lifestyle anymore,” said Edwards.

Edwards told Fleegle Draughn’s story would serve as a deterrence to other drug dealers in Muskingum County who read about it.

As for Draughn, Edwards said as a result of his trafficking lifestyle, he will be in a wheelchair collecting social security.

“He won’t be out hustling anymore,” Edwards said.

Before the “unfortunate events” in New Jersey unfolded, Litle said he had offered a 17 year plea deal to Draughn.

With that in mind, Litle chose to defer to the court without a recommendation at sentencing.

Fleegle decided to sentence Draughn to eight years in prison on the following counts:

  • Trafficking in cocaine, fifth-degree felony
  • Trafficking in methamphetamine, third-degree felony
  • Trafficking in methamphetamine, fourth-degree felony
  • Trafficking in heroin, fifth-degree felony
  • Trafficking in fentanyl, fourth-degree felony
  • Trafficking in cocaine, second-degree felony
  • Trafficking in methamphetamine, fourth-degree felony
  • Trafficking in heroin, fourth-degree felony
  • Trafficking in fentanyl, fourth-degree felony
  • Possession of cocaine, second-degree felony
  • Possession of methamphetamine, fifth-degree felony
  • Possession of heroin, fourth-degree felony
  • Possession of fentanyl, fifth-degree felony

Draughn was also fined a total of $17,500.

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